The positive upward spiral Teviotdale Harriers are currently enjoying continued during the exciting Langheugh Races and annual social dominoes tournament on Saturday.
The Haddon and Turnbull sponsored event provided dead heats, wrong turns and a huge turnout for the senior men, all followed by an equally well supported get-together in the Cricket Club.
A sparkling crisp winter’s day awaited the runners and the many supporters who congregated at the towns Bandstand. The chill of the seasonal weather was soon forgotten as the first race of the day het up to a cracking climax.
The under 11/13 boys and girls set off on a course which had been altered due to ongoing works in Wilton Lodge Park. Confusion arose after a handful of runners ventured upon the wrong route whilst others continued around the correct course.
Those who had ran the shorter route were given time to recover and offered a second chance to run the correct route later and credit to those youngsters who gave it their all for a second time.
The boys were battling for the Burnfoot Residents Association Trophy and what a battle it was. Conan Harper started as back marker with Thomas MacAskill having a ten second advantage. This blossoming rivalry threw up another corker as they raced towards the line.
Both couldn’t have given anymore as they sprinted for victory, eventually crossing the line in a blanket finish. After a short deliberation, officials rightly declared a dead heat. Having a tremendous run in his own right Robert Wood took third. Credit also to the next Walker to step off the running conveyor belt as young Alfie Walker followed grandad Alastair and dad Greg and competed in his first Harriers race.
Racing for the Fire Brigade Cup, Iona Jamieson blazed home to take victory for the girls. Already a consistent performer, once Iona hit the front she was not to be caught. Ava Hughes finished 2nd and Sinead McHugh completed the podium.
Next to be called to their marks were the ladies and under 15/17 girls and boys. Competing for the Lodge 111 Trophy the ladies and under 15/17 girls provided a keenly contested race. Ultra-Distance runner Pam Paxton reclaimed a trophy she had won two years previous and for the fifth time in total by securing a hard earned victory. The battle was now on for the minor medals and it went right to the line as the determined Ann Aitken managed to dig deep and fend of the fast finishing Lucy Ash.
The under 15/17 boys were racing for their own Lodge 111 Trophy and back marker Fraser Clyne looked in fine form as he cruised around the course to take the honours. Jai Patterson ran on gamely to take silver.
On a day which popular consensus described as being the best Langheugh conditions for many a year, the last race of the day boasted its highest number of competitors since 1997. An impressive 20 senior men competed for the Langheugh Trophy, around what is surely one of the most testing cross country routes in Scotland.
A big thank you must be offered to Bruce Mactaggart for access to his land and a huge well done also to the members who had spent the morning taping out the 5.5 mile course.
A 20 minute gap between first away Frank Birch and scratch man Rory Anderson left runners with plenty of work to do to catch the man in front. Paul Lockie soon found himself first and led for the vast majority of the race as the back markers steadily made their way through the field.
Long-time leader Paul eventually succumbed as Bruce Hughes powered past to hit the front, a position he was not to relinquish as he finished strongly to claim the victory. Derek Scott had also managed to work his way through the front runners and claimed a well deserved 2nd, with Jubilee Champ Scott Watson running on well for 3rd.
With a great afternoon of running complete, an amazing 66 Harriers past and present, along with their friends and families enjoyed an evening of dominoes, chat and laughs in the Cricket Club. With 9 decades of competitors taking part, Barty Yule eventually claimed the title after beating Scott Watson in the final. Many thanks to Alex Corbett for organising what proved to be an excellent night, to finish of a fantastic day.
Next up on the hectic Harriers fixtures calendar is this Saturdays Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships in Dundee.
Alex Corbett’s Langheugh and dominoes pics here
Results LANGHEUGH TROPHY 2017